Sunday, 29 November 2015

Making it all work together

After reading the final blog post on making it all work together I have looked back at the various social media platforms I have used as part of this course and reflected on how easy I found them to use, which ones I've embraced and use regularly, and which ones I need to explore further as they would be valuable tools to use at work. I'm a massive Twitter user but unfortunately I did not fall in love with Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Instagram.

I have created a Hootsuite account and had a little play with it, but if I am using it just for Twitter then I can't see any advantage of using it in preference to Tweetdeck which I already use to manage my home and work Twitter accounts. With Tweetdeck I can schedule tweets, keep an eye on my mentions and follow various hashtags.

Although I can't see a use for some of these social media management tools right now, it is definitely worth knowing about them as in the future I may decide to expand the platforms I use for work.

I've also had a look at Google Alerts. As a trial I've set up an alert for articles about YA books from the UK. Scanning the top results shows many articles I've already read recently and a few articles I haven't seen before. Slightly worryingly, one the results that was fairly high up was a very old article about the launch of the YA book prize (Dec14). I had hoped the content would be a bit more recent than that.

To keep up to date with some of the blogs I follow I use the Bloglovin' app on my tablet. It is incredibly easy to use and I like it very much.

That brings me to the end of Rudai23!

The whole course has been really beneficial to me. It has introduced me to many new social media tools, it has made me reflect and think about CPD on a regular basis, I have learnt new skills, and it has helped me make a positive entry back into the library world after my career break. Many thanks to the team behind the course for providing support and motivation.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The legal side of things

Reading the blog post about copyright has made me remember how complicated the whole business is! I recall the basics of copyright from my Library School days and the term 'fair use' is familiar to me. However, a lot has changed in the digital world whilst I was on my career break and it is clear that this is a subject that I really need to brush up on now that I am back working in libraries.

I haven't yet used any pictures in my blog until now so copyright issues regarding images haven't really applied. If I'm completely honest, this is the reason I've avoided including any images - I'm aware my copyright knowledge is not adequate, and rather than get it wrong, I've avoided doing it full stop. But here are the images for this post as requested:

Heimdal Glacier by NASA Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Public domain image from publicdomainpictures.net


Regarding the content I have created for the course, I obviously hold copyright for it but the issue is how to enforce it if someone was to reproduce it without my permission.

I'm really struggling to complete this task because I feel that without doing hours of research to make sure I've good a grasp copyright issues I don't have the knowledge to really complete the task effectively. Thank you Rudai23 for bringing something important to my attention that I really need to work on. I can see many future hours of CPD.....

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Creating Info-Graphics

I've had a go at creating an Info-graphic using easel.ly as an alternative way of presenting end of year library usage statistics. For the purpose of this exercise I've completely made up my data, and limited what statistics are included, but it is something I am considering doing for real at the end of the academic year.

The benefit of this type of presentation of data is that it is quick and easy to look at and digest. At school, senior management are so short of time that another long wordy text document with lots of tables and analysis is not appealing to read. I think they would pay more attention to an Info-graphic.

I admit to struggling a little with this task. I am not very artistic so I found it tricky to make it look good. I was grateful to have a template to use -it was much easier than starting from scratch. To do it properly and make it look good would be incredibly time consuming (for me): it would be much quicker to actually type something and present it in the traditional way. However, due to what I have said above about the intended audience I think it is worth persisting with. Again, it is one of those things that probably gets easier the more practice you have.

Info-graphics are already used at school. There are several education related ones displayed in the staffroom. I have also seen numerous ones on-line about the value of reading for pleasure and the popularity of particular books that I could certainly use in my library at school.


Sunday, 22 November 2015

Presentations

I do not have a great deal of experience giving presentations. In fact this lack of experience makes the whole thing seem rather daunting! However, I am aware that it is a skill needed in the workplace and as with all of things on this course, I am determined to give it my best shot and learn from the process!

In this situation it is not the technology that is the problem but the actual standing up in front of a roomful of people and speaking. Speaking coherently and making sense that is! I often find that the words in my head don't come out of my mouth as planned which causes me to sound hesitant and unsure. I suppose that is this purpose of presentation tools, to act as a visual prompt and give structure to your presentation. Also, I've been told the only way to improve is to do it and keep on doing it. You will gain confidence the more you practice.

I have used PowerPoint before so I wanted to try something different this time. I thought it was a good idea to try Google Slides as it is something that can be used collaboratively and it should be easily integrated into Blogger.

At school we are trying to put together a shadowing group for the Berkshire Book Award so I've decided to request to speak to the students in assembly to try and get some interest.

It will be a very brief presentation but I want to tell them a little bit about the award, introduce this year's shortlisted titles*, tell them what other activities related to the award they can be involved in and to encourage those who may be interested to join the shadowing group.

Here is the presentation on Google Slides




Wish me luck!

* The shortlist is not announced until 30th November so I've had to refer to the books as Book A, B etc for now.


Friday, 20 November 2015

Mobile Things

I have an Android phone and tablet that I use at home and on the move and I'm fairly proficient at using a wide range of apps. I've used both devices for parts of this course. At work I am slowly getting used to the iPad I've been issued with so it seemed an ideal opportunity to use it for this task. I downloaded Gum and it appeared to be simple to use. I didn't have Fault in Our Stars or Game of Thrones to test it on but scanned many of the most popular books in our library but none of them had any reviews attached. I guess it is a very new app and people haven't really starting using it yet.When I tried to stick a review of my own nothing happened. Therefore it was really difficult to properly evaluate the app.

If you want an app to scan books with and leave reviews then I would recommend Good Reads. I've been using this for a number of years and would encourage my students to use it to keep track of their reading. It has a massive user base and gives you access to a wealth of information.You can use it as a wish list for books you want to read, you can look at user reviews to help decide if you want to read a book, you can use it to join book discussions, you can connect with friends and readers with similar tastes and you can use it as a database to keep track of what you have read. It is pretty much a social network for book lovers and can be linked to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Communicating through photographs

I had heard of both Flickr and Instagram before looking at this task but I selected to try Instragram for a couple of reasons. Firstly I was put off by having to register my phone details with Flickr in order to access it and secondly I believe Instagram is more appealing to a younger market and working in a school library I need to be using social media platforms that my users are more likely to engage with.

After downloading the app to my phone and looking for some library and book related people to follow it quickly became apparent that this is a young platform. I know it is fast growing but it seems like the user base is not that large yet. Either that or it just hasn't been adopted by many in the library/book world.  For example the British Library has only posted 95 times and has a mere 8448 followers whereas they have 1.1 million followers on Twitter.

Which brings me on to my next point.... I'm struggling to see between the use of Twitter and Pinterest what exactly Instagram offers that will add value. Pinterest is brilliant for the visual side of things and easier to use than Instagram. Twitter is invaluable for making professional contacts and conversation. With the ability to post photos on Twitter and the fact that there are infinitely more users to engage with I think these are my preferred platforms.

I also find a combination of words AND pictures to be more appealing. You can quickly assess whether it is something you are interested in. With the Instagram app you have just an image to click on. You pretty much don't know what you're going to get. For example a picture of a book jacket could be a book review, a competition to win the book, someone just saying they have bought the book, someone confirming the release date of the book, an announcement that the book has won an award. That is an awful lot of speculative clicking on lots of images to actually find out anything.

So despite starting this task quite optimistically, I have found that I am unlikely to be one of the school libraries setting the trend for using Instagram.

Perhaps I should have tried Flickr after all.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Reflection

For this reflection I am going to re-write my blog post on podcasts. The reason is that when I wrote the original post I was on a bit of a high from doing the recording and ended up writing a bit of a comedy post. Whilst it captured perfectly the mood of the evening spent doing the task, it probably wasn't great from a reflective point of view! So, take two....

For this task I created a podcast of a review for a book I recently read and enjoyed. It was tempting just to listen and comment on some other podcasts rather than create my own but I was determined to get the most out of doing this course by getting some direct experience of the technology involved.

I debated whether to record using my phone but my husband was keen to show me how to use his recording equipment to create a more professional sound. I felt more confident approaching the task knowing I had an expert to assist me.

I only needed a couple of takes and it was a relatively short review so the recording was completed quickly.

To my ear, the original didn't sound too bad but my husband demonstrated how Audacity could be used to enhance it. Whilst I agree that the end result did sound marginally better I felt that my husband rather took over this part of the proceedings and I can honestly say that if I was to repeat the task by myself I'm not sure I would remember how to use the software. This experience has made me realise that whilst it was good to have an expert by my side in order to boost confidence, it would have been better for him to slow down and take a back seat and let me really benefit from experimenting with the software myself.

If I was to repeat the task I think I would try to do the recording on my phone and use the Soundcloud app as suggested in the Rudai23 blogpost. It would be interesting to see the difference in sound quality compared to my initial attempt. Also, the reality is that if I was doing a podcast for something work related, I would be doing it at work without my husband there to assist! Therefore it's essential that I am able to do it completely independently rather than over-rely on his expertise.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Augmented Reality

I need to confess! I've been putting off this one as I thought I'd find it really difficult! I did have a vague idea of what augmented reality was before I started as I recalled downloading the app to let my children interact with The Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge in our local public library a couple of years ago. My experience wasn't great: I seem to remember that we were unable to unlock some of the games despite having scanned all the characters we found in the library. In all likelihood it was user error!

In my school library I am spending this year working towards a complete overhaul of the library induction and library lessons for year 7s. We currently only have 8 PCs in the library, and a number of extremely slow laptops but from next September the students will be issued with their own devices. This is an ideal opportunity to utilise the experience I've gained on this course and bring the use of IT firmly into the library. I've also been invited to become a member of the Digital Leaders Group at school which will be great as I'll pick up more knowledge from other group members plus it will be a platform for me to share what I'm doing in the library and raise our profile within the school: advocacy!

So, as soon as I started looking at this task I considered how I could use it in library lessons.
For this task I selected Aurasma as it is free to use. Despite reading though the user guide I struggled to get started so I turned to trusty YouTube for a tutorial. Within three minutes I knew exactly what I was doing.

I've devised a retrieval game where students need to find books in the library by using the catalogue. Once the book is found they need to scan the book cover which would then show a video confirming they had found the correct book and showing them a card featuring a letter of the alphabet. Once they had found a set number of books in different parts of the library they would have all the letters to complete an anagram.

Using Aurasma, I just did the exercise with one book jacket and a video which I filmed on my phone. I still need to play around with making it public before I'm ready to implement it in the library but I've got another YouTube video to help me along the way.

This task was not as difficult as I thought it would be!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Collaboration

In my current role I am one half of a job share so the need for collaboration is incredibly important. Because I work two days and my job share partner three days per week, there is no natural overlap for us to handover. One of the conditions of my job offer was that I do come into work for one extra hour during the week in order that my colleague and I do have some face to face time.

Initially, this has been quite useful. Being in a new role it has been an advantage to work together and have certain things demonstrated to me in the physical sense. However, as time goes on and I am completely up to speed as regards where everything is and how things are done, I think there will be less need to physically meet and this is where collaboration tools will be particularly useful.

My previous employer used Google Docs and although I used it a little, I felt I never fully got to grips with it.

I've spent a bit of time this evening looking at the Rudai 23 document and I edited it. I also set up a separate document and shared with my husband so I could have a bit more of a play around with the features. With us both editing the document simultaneously it was easier to see the full potential.


Advocacy

Never has it been more important to become a library advocate than now. All around us public libraries are being closed or given over to volunteers to run a reduced service. Having said that I have been woefully inactive in actually doing anything much about it.

It is easy to sit back and think that you are powerless and any small action you might take is insignificant. Indeed it has long been said that librarians are poor at shouting out about their strengths and achievements and need to be more vocal. However, looking at some of the advocacy websites, you begin to realise that we're not so powerless and that there is strength in numbers. People are putting a great deal of time and effort into creating and supporting these campaigns. There is a wealth of information and support for anyone who wishes to set up a local group. It is heartening to read about some of the successes where local authorities have been challenged and some of their planned closures have been thwarted. Half an hour spent reading about some of these achievements are enough to spur you on to do something to contribute.

I'm particularly impressed by an event happening this week in the London Borough of Hillingdon involving a vast number of children's and YA authors called YA Shot. Not only is it a massive one day literature festival being hosted by Uxbridge library which is great to raise their profile, but from the funds created by the event there will be a year long legacy programme. Groups of students from local schools will be invited to author events at public libraries in the area during the following twelve months. It's brilliant that so many young people will be introduced to new authors and it will hopefully engage them with reading and public library use. If the event sells out they are promising to repeat the exercise the following year with another library authority.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Professional Organisations

I have very recently rejoined CILIP after letting my membership lapse while I was on my career break. Unfortunately the break means that I am currently not permitted to use my post-nominals and have to go through a revalidation process. Revalidation requires me to complete 20 hours of CPD and write reflectively about the experience. Obviously I'll be using much of my work on this course as evidence of CPD.

One of the main benefits of belonging to CILIP for me is to be a part of the special interest groups: the Youth Libraries Group and School Libraries Group. As you already know from my last post I'll be heading to the YLG conference soon to network with other children's librarians. They also run regional events and training days. In a couple of years I'd like to get involved in a committee and contribute to organising these.

Through my employer I am also a member of the School Library Association. Again there is a local group which meet regularly and I plan to attend these meetings. The local branch also administer the Berkshire Book Award, which again, I would like to be involved in at some point.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Attending Conferences

I clearly recall the very first conference I attended. It was the year 2000. I was still at library school and fairly broke but the pull of attending the joint Youth Libraries Group and School Libraries Group conference in London was too much to resist! I scraped together the money and managed to self-fund to go for just the Saturday. But that was by far the best day to attend as it included the evening dinner and presentation of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, which that year went to Aidan Chambers and Helen Oxenbury.

I couldn't tell you which panels or discussion groups I attended, who were the speakers or what notes I took down. I have no idea who I met that day. What I can tell you though is how it made me feel. It was awe inspiring to be in a packed venue with like minded people who shared a love of children's literature and whose job in life it was to encourage and promote the joy of reading with children and young people. Being a part of that conference served to cement my feelings that I was doing the right thing in training to became a children's librarian. I felt like I belonged.

16 years on and following a career break of 7 years I am desperate to once again immerse myself in that feeling. I started a new job at the beginning of September and knowing that budgets are tight felt that I couldn't ask to be funded to attend the next YLG conference to be held in Glasgow later this month. Neither am I in position to self fund. However, I saw that the South East branch of YLG were offering a Career development grant to a YLG-SE member to attend, covering all fees, travel and accommodation costs.

I decided to apply and composed my 600 word submission detailing my current role and experience, my interest in literature for young people, my professional development goals and how I would benefit from attending.

I was absolutely delighted when I found out that I had been selected to receive the grant.

Flights are booked, childcare is arranged and I am really excited to be travelling up to Scotland in just over a weeks time.

I have high expectations of the weekend. I hope to reconnect with people I haven't seen since before my career break and of course meet new people too. There is one workshop in particular I'm looking forward to and that is Using Apps in the Library. I'm hoping it will add to what I have learned on this course.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Reflective Practice

The last few tasks we've been set have been quite tech based. We had been given the option to complete some of the tasks passively by exploring content other people had created (Podcasts) or as a viewer rather than an active participant (Hangout-on-Air - Live Streaming). However it was really important to me that I get practical experience for each of the tasks and had a go at creating a podcast and trying out live streaming myself.

It's all well and good knowing how to do something in theory but until you actually try putting it into practice you don't fully reap the rewards of the learning experience.

As it happened, the last two tasks were the most difficult for me and with each I experienced technical issues. I'm very fortunate in having an IT savvy husband who was able to help me navigate the problems. Having completed the tasks with support at home I now feel confident that I could have a go at work by myself in implementing some of the ideas.


Friday, 9 October 2015

Live Streaming

I did watch the Rudai 23 Google Hangout on Air and commented along on Twitter but I wanted to try something new to blog about for this task so I downloaded Periscope.

First of all I tried it on my tablet and every time I tried to film it crashed within seconds so I moved to my phone instead. I wasn't brave enough to do a general broadcast so decided a private one for the eyes of Rudai 23 only was the best way to proceed!

I found Periscope really easy to use and it didn't take me long to figure out someone you want to do a private broadcast to has to actually be following you! A quick tweet to @rudai23 and job done. Don't you just love the instantaneous nature of social media?

I decided to do a quick tour of some of the books on my bookshelf which threw up an interesting issue. When I was broadcasting, the viewer (Niamh) was receiving a mirror image of what I was actually filming. Not a problem if you're just posting footage of people but when you're broadcasting content which includes text, it's a bit of a problem.

A bit of Googling revealed that this is a known problem when using Periscope on an Android device. Unless it's fixed, it would certainly limit the use of streaming things like conference presentations which included overheads.

I may be inspired to to try a bit of live streaming when I go the YLG conference in a few weeks time.



Thursday, 8 October 2015

Video

This was the hardest task to complete for me so far. It seemed that every small step of the way was fraught with technical issues. I had problems getting my mic to work, problems downloading Screencast O Matic and problems updating Java. All in all, I felt I was messing about with technical issues for about 45 mins before I even started trying to record the video. And honestly, had a I been by myself I'd have probably given up! Luckily I had a techie by my side to sort all those problems out for me.

It was plain sailing actually creating the video and uploading it to YouTube thanks to the excellent instructions on the Rudai23 blogpost!

For my video I did a very brief tour around the home screen of Eclipse.net which is the library management system we use at work. I think it might be useful to create some videos like this to use as induction materials for yr7s when they have library lessons. It is something I would like to explore in the future.



Thursday, 17 September 2015

Pinterest

I finally found some time to play around with Pinterest this week. It was fairly easy to use and I quickly became absorbed in creating a board and annotating it. The problem was stopping!

There are clearly a number of ways I could utilise Pinterest in the school library: display ideas, book group and induction ideas and book lists. I'm sure more will become apparent as I explore.

I  particularly liked the feature where you could follow topics, pinners or boards. It really helps you focus on the content you're particularly interested in.

Anyway, here is the first board I've had a go at creating:

Follow Rachel Maskelyne's board Potential Carnegie 2016 longlist titles on Pinterest.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Podcasts

Last night I created my first ever podcast and oh what fun it was! I hope it wasn't cheating to have a little help....

Luckily I'm married to a wannabe rock star who has all the recording gear you could ever need, and more. He set me up with a mic and plugged me into his mixing desk. We had a sound check where I said 'one, two, three, testing' lots of times like the roadies do when you go to a gig. Apparently my plosives were an issue but we solved that problem by angling the mic slightly away from me.

After much throat clearing and willing myself not to umm and arrr too much, husband imparted some advice: "try not to blow too much.... And try not to suck too much". My husband is a very funny man. That is why I married him.

Then I was off...

It only took a couple of takes and then we spent a little time editing. I was noise reduced, normalised and compressed. Next we edited out some of my annoying vocal mannerisms. "It will almost make you sound professional, dear" he said.

My podcast is short but sweet. I've reviewed a YA book I read and loved recently. Birdy by Jess Vallance.


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Reflection

I've taken a little time to read some of the blogs from other folk who are participating in the Rudai 23 course. I could spends hours! It's interesting reading about people's paths into Librarianship and I feel like one of the few who chose it as their career from a young age.

I've focussed a little more on the blogs of other school librarians as I am relatively new to this field and as we are predominantly lone workers it is even more important to make links and share ideas with each other.

I've also realised how my tech skills are really not as up to date as I hoped they were and I'm going to need to invest a lot more time in brushing them up! I drastically underestimated how much time this course would take! I'm glad I'm doing it, but I'm just not going to be able to whiz through as fast as I would like. I'll keep plodding on...

Reflecting back on the course so far, I've been giving more thought to my professional brand. I thought about my Twitter activity and realised it is way more book focussed than library focussed. I spend way more time tweeting about books and reading than anything else. This is not a bad thing. It shows where my interest lies. If I'm not reading newly published YA and getting excited about it then how can I do my job of being a school librarian properly? How can I recommend books to my students and enthuse them to read? I see my role in school as an advocate for reading for pleasure and to do that effectively I have to be passionate about reading myself.


Monday, 3 August 2015

Online Networks

We've been introduced to Twitter and Facebook this week and had the choice of blogging about one or both. It would have been very easy for me to just focus on Twitter as I'm already a regular Twitter user but I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something I've been resisting doing for years. Yes folks, I've finally joined Facebook!

I've been wanting to avoid the whole 'sharing my life online' thing with Facebook and I had never even considered it as a professional tool before it came up on this course. I still need to do lots more exploring but I've made a few connections already with other school librarians and joined a couple of groups including the Youth Libraries Group and followed plenty of authors and publishers.

Moving onto Twitter now. Love it! I've been tweeting for about 6 months now and follow authors, publishers, bloggers, librarians, organisations like Booktrust and The Reading Agency, book awards, literature festivals, book retailers, book review journals and probably many more!

It is absolutely brilliant for keeping up to date with new books being published and seeing what is popular with readers. It's been really useful to find out about literary events happening in my area and I've appreciated the opportunity to tell an author directly when I've really enjoyed their book. It is handy having links to interesting newspaper articles come directly to your Twitter feed rather than having to scour the web each day to see what's out there. As a bonus I've also won lots of books from Twitter competitions which are a useful free boost to my school library collection in a time of dwindling budgets.

I'm a regular participant in #ukyachat which is a chance to chat with other YA enthusiasts about books. Useful for increasing your book knowledge and meeting other like-minded folk.



Friday, 24 July 2015

Google

For some reason I found this week a tough one. I got started on Google+ as required but kind of lost the plot fairly soon afterwards. I wasn't a fan of LinkedIn in last week's task but at least it guided you through the set up step by step. It was clear and easy to follow.

I'm finding the Google+ page to be incredibly confusing! It just seems all over the place. We've been told not to spend more than an hour or so on each task and my time is up before I've even got a handle on it! I think I'm going to need to get a Google+ for Dummies book and spend some time perusing it and getting to grips with it to really appreciate its potential. But that's OK because the purpose of this course, as far as I see it, is to introduce us to these applications and the give us the opportunity to explore them fully at a later date.

On the upside, I did partake in a (semi) successful Hangout with some of the other #Rudai23 folk. Teething problems included figuring out how to turn on the mike and getting over the embarrassment that I was wearing my pyjamas! The sound quality was very poor and I struggled to hear what others were saying. I think there were too many of us participating and there were times when we were all trying to speak at once. Still, it demonstrated what could be done in Hangouts and I'm happy to give it another go to get it working smoothly.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Your Professional Brand

 The first task this week was to Google yourself incognito to get an idea of what information other people may retrieve about you when they Google you. I did it, and thankfully there was very little; mostly just Twitter posts and pictures. Certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.

Next, I'm obliged to set up a LinkedIn profile, and this is where the problem starts.

You know when I said I Googled myself and very little came up? Well, that is how I like it. I can see the use commercially for a tool like this but to be completely honest, I don't want the whole world to know every detail about my qualifications, where I've worked, for how long, where I work now etc.

As for prospective employers, when I apply for a job I'll fill in the application form or send them a CV and that will have to do, I'm afraid.

For this reason, I've completed the task by filling in the bare details in LinkedIn and will probably delete my profile once it has been assessed for this course.

I hope you don't mind Rudai 23 but we're all different, and some of us are just a bit more private than others. Maybe that's my own way of controlling my professional brand, by going incognito! Hey, my profile picture is a pile of books after all!






Sunday, 12 July 2015

Becoming a Librarian


When I was growing up, I never considered becoming a Librarian. Aged 8 I wanted to be a Farmer's Wife (!), at 11 a Solicitor, by 14 a Journalist and as I hit 20 I was desperate to work in the music industry in publicity and marketing. Now, I'm 38 and a School Librarian. I couldn't be happier.

I've always loved reading so when my local library advertised for a Saturday Assistant when I was 16, I went for it. I got the job and enjoyed every moment of my two years working there.

Then off I went to Uni to study Linguistics and I quickly realised it was wasn't for me but I stuck at it and graduated. I was 21 and had rejected all my earlier career choices but had no clue what I wanted to be. As I'd enjoyed my previous library experience I decided to get a job as a Library Assistant in the university library while I figured out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Within months I realised that I was not content at the university library but had loved working in the public library. Suddenly it all became clear to me. I was going to apply to do an MA in Library & Information Studies and become a Children's Librarian. So I did.

My first qualified post was as a Team Librarian in the main library of a large county library authority. I got a good grounding in reference skills and learnt loads from the team of experienced Librarians I worked with. I also dabbled a bit in the children's side of things. When a post came up in a small neighbouring unitary authority for a specialist to manage library services for children & families in 8 branches I jumped a the chance. It was my dream job.

I couldn't believe I was being paid to inspire a love of books and reading in children and their families. For me, this is the heart of what I do and why I do it. As a child, reading was an escape; a way to exercise my imagination. I could experience the thrill and adventure of things I could never do in real life. It was the door into other worlds where magic happened, an opportunity to step into another person's shoes and see things from their point of view. Not much has changed, I still get excited by those same things when I open up a book today. I want to inspire that feeling in others. My job allows me to do that.

After a career break of 7 years to have children of my own I've returned to the profession but now in a school library.

I love my job. I don't want to do anything else. I couldn't ever imagine being anything else. A Children's Librarian is what I am and will always be. Even when I was on my career break and was working as a bra fitter in the Lingerie department of  M&S in the evenings (I kid you not) I still told people I was a Librarian. Not that there is anything wrong with being a bra fitter, you understand.


PS Did I mention I also worked a Circus Skills Instructor on a residential summer camp for children when I was 18? Yes, I can ride a unicycle and juggle with fire (although not at the same time). I'm still trying to figure out how I can incorporate those skills into my current role....

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Welcome

Hi folks, welcome to my blog :-)

I'm doing an online course for Library & Information professionals: the first task of which is to set up a blog. So here I am.